Closing the Gap: An Investigation into the Barriers and Enablers to Cooperative Education at the New American University
Cooperative education has a long-standing tradition within engineering education. As part of the experiential education field, it carries many success stories. Several universities offer a robust cooperative education track. In recent years, Arizona State University has made the decision to formalize a cooperative education program. Arizona State University, like many other institutions, has long since provided career support and promoted internships as an excellent work experience option before graduation. The decision to formalize a cooperative education program speaks to a need for a more rigorous path to work experience for engineering students. This paper is an investigation into the barriers and enablers behind a young cooperative education program. These results indicate that while students do benefit from the program, growth of the program may be tied to creating a meaningful distinction between cooperative education and other learning opportunities.